York Catholic back in familar spot — a District 3 final; other weekend football capsules

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • York Catholic faces Upper Dauphin for the District 3 2-A football title on Friday.
  • Delone Catholic meets Steel-High for the District 3 1-A football crown on Saturday.
  • Central York, Spring Grove and Kennard-Dale also have District 3 games on Friday.
York Catholic's Levan McFadden carries the ball during Division III title football action at Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. York Catholic would win the game 13-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

For the past decade, York Catholic has usually beeen found in the same spot toward the end of each football season — a District 3 championship game.

Eric Depew's Fighting Irish have reached a title game in eight of the last nine years, split between Class 1-A and 2-A. The program is second in the York-Adams League in championship game appearances with 11, trailing only their parochial rival Delone Catholic (15).

York Catholic's last District 3 title came in a win over Delone Catholic during an undefeated season in 2018 before a loss in the state playoffs to a loaded Southern Columbia squad. The Irish also claimed a district crown in 2016.

This 2021 YC team is also undefeated (10-0) headed into the District 3 Class 2-A championship contest, set for 7 p.m. Friday at York Catholic.

Standing in the way of another Irish district crown is an Upper Dauphin (9-1) outfit that has an offense similar to the one possessed by York Catholic. Both teams have quarterbacks who can make plays with their arms or their legs.

Upper Dauphin QB Will Laskowski has thrown for 820 yards and run for 313 yards. York Catholic's Levan McFadden has thrown for 728 yards and rushed for 653 yards.

Both teams, however, prefer to run the ball. Brady Morgan (837 rushing yards) and Christian Snyder (769 rushing yards) provide UD with a formidable one-two punch in the backfield. YC's run game is paced by Andrew Adams (1,009 yards) and McFadden. 

The game could come down to which signal caller can shine and lead their offense.

UD has typically been involved in higher-scoring games this season, compared to YC. The Trojans are averaging 38.8 points per game and allowing 17.3 ppg. York-Adams Division III champion YC is averaging 26.7 ppg and giving up 8.6 ppg. The Irish boast the best scoring defense in the York-Adams League, led by Nicholas Creisher's 92 tackles.

The teams had one common opponent, Susquenita, which York Catholic played last week in the district 2-A semifinals. The No. 1 seed Fighting Irish won that game, 43-7, while the Trojans beat Susquenita, 40-8.

No. 3 seed Upper Dauphin won a wild district semifinal over No. 2 seed Columbia, 58-48.

Upper Dauphin finished second in the Mid-Penn Liberty Division behind Juniata, which handed UD its only loss, 20-0.

OTHER WEEKEND DISTRICT 3 FOOTBALL CAPSULES

Class 6-A

Wilson (8-3) at Central York (11-0), 7 p.m. Friday: A quick look at Wilson's record would suggest that defending District 3 champion Central York will win this 6-A semifinal game easily. The Bulldogs lost three games this season and suffered two blowout defeats, but they've been a different team for the past two months. Wilson has won its last six games, including one against the Panthers' first-round district opponent, Manheim Township. Running back Jadyn Jones has rushed for more than 1,100 yards for the Bulldogs. Wilson is a traditional postseason power and owns seven district titles in its program history.

More:Latest state football rankings are out: See where teams stand after first week of playoffs 

Spring Grove's Andrew Osmun passes the ball during PIAA District III, Class 5-A first-round football action against Twin Valley at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Spring Grove would win the game 33-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Class 5-A

Waynesboro (9-2) at Spring Grove (9-1), 7 p.m. Friday: The Rockets have to be confident heading into this rematch with the Indians in the 5-A quarterfinals. Spring Grove won this game in Week 1, 25-20, without its starting quarterback Andrew Osmun for most of the game because of an injury. Now he's healthy. However, Waynesboro will not be an easy opponent, with its only other loss this season to an undefeated Shippensburg team. The Rockets will need to find a win to slow down Waynesboro running back Aidan Mencia, who has rushed for more than 1,200 yards.

Kennard-Dale's Steven Lukes carries the ball during football action at York Suburban Senior High School in Spring Garden Township, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 42-10. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Class 4-A

Donegal (7-2) at Kennard-Dale (9-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Like most Rams games, don't expect many passing attempts in this 4-A quarterfinal contest. Both of these teams like to run the ball and spread touches around to several skill players. The bye week should help Kennard-Dale with an extra week for senior Steven Lukes to recover from a knee injury that held him out for the last month. Both teams scored easy wins during the regular season over Eastern York. The Rams are looking for the program's first-ever district triumph.

Delone Catholic's Landen Eckert carries the ball against York Catholic earlier this season.

Class 1-A

Delone Catholic (6-4) at Steelon-Highspire (7-2), 1 p.m. Saturday  The Squires' progress since their 0-3 start will be tested this week in the 1-A title game. Delone Catholic lost, 34-14, in Week 1 to a Trinity team that Steelon-Highspire beat last month, 34-28. Delone will attempt to pull off an upset and break through in its fourth consecutive District 3 title game appearance. Steel-High beat Delone 23-13 in last year's district final en route to winning a state crown. The Rollers, however, are entering Saturday's contest off two consecutive losses to Boiling Springs and Big Spring. Delone must find a way to control Steel-High's standout QB Alex Erby.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com. Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.